Toshio Hosokawa Awarded a 2021 Goethe Medal
Jun. 01, 2021
On May 19, Goethe Institut Tokyo announced the winners of the 2021 Goethe Medals. The winners include social economist and president of the cultural organization, doual’art, Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell of Cameroon, composer Toshio Hosokawa of Japan, and dancer and choreographer Wen Hui of China. The ceremony celebrating the awardees of the 2021 Goethe Medal will be live-streamed on August 28, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s birthday.
Additionally, a ceremony in honor of Toshio Hosokawa will take place at Goethe Institut Tokyo at the end of September.
The Goethe-Institut confers the official decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany to honor individuals who have performed outstanding service for international cultural dialogue. Since it was first awarded in 1955, 357 persons from seventy countries have been honored, including musicians Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti, Isang Yun, Sofia Gubaidulina, Daniel Barenboim, Peter Eötvös, and others.
Carola Lentz, President of the Goethe Institut noted:
“In pandemic times, the international cultural exchange faces particular challenges. Digital communication offers new opportunities, yet at the same time existing inequalities are growing, for example with regard to access to cultural activities and education or gender equality. The legacy of colonial power relations and restrictions on freedom in illiberal post-colonial regimes are becoming even more palpable. This year’s awardees don’t shy away from these challenges. With their cultural and civil society commitment in three very different countries, they courageously lead the way and stand up with their art for an open, democratic and equal society – also across national borders.”The theme of this year’s awarding is “Culture is a very special fluid – in the network of the global community.”
Christina von Braun, Vice-President of the Goethe-Institut and chair of the Goethe Medal Conferment Commission, says:
“For Goethe, blood and ink were indistinguishable substances. The flow of these two ‘fluids’ makes life and community possible. This year’s awardees of the Goethe Medal are outstanding representatives of this imagery. Their art connects cultures, home and abroad. It bridges genders, and links past and future.”
The Goethe Medal Conferment Commission considered Hosokawa’s many years of activity in Japan, Germany and throughout Europe, and determined that he is “one of the best-known living composers from Japan and an outstanding representative of German-Japanese cultural relations.” They also stated:
“With his compositions, Hosokawa opens up spaces and connects people all over the world. The unique sound of his music transcends and turns the concert hall into a place of global encounter. In doing so, he succeeds in combining culturally specific ways of listening to music into an extraordinary work of sound art, while preserving his own traditions.”
To learn more about Toshio Hosokawa, visit: schott-music.com.